Bubby’s Challah Kugel, Waffled
One of the most nostalgic Shabbat foods of my youth is my Bubby’s cinnamon-flecked challah kugel. It was sweet and doughy and nothing at all like bread pudding, which seems to be how everyone makes challah kugel these days. Bubby made hers by soaking leftover challah in water and squeezing it out to create a mushy base that she would repurpose into kugel by adding eggs, cinnamon, and sugar. Sounds weird, I know, but believe me, it’s the only way to get that pillowy texture. Last summer, I tried waffle-ironing the mixture instead of baking it into kugel, and it was a total delight! The waffle iron crisped up the kugel around the edges, and my kids just loved it. I often make this when I have a leftover loaf of challah.
1 large leftover day-old challah (1 pound)
2 extra-large eggs, beaten
½ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup canola oil, plus more for the waffle iron
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch of kosher salt
Maple syrup, for serving (optional)
Cinnamon-Sugar ( this page ), for sprinkling
1 Remove the crust from the challah and pull the bread apart into palm-size chunks. In a large bowl, cover the bread with room temperature water. Soak just until moistened (not falling apart), 1 minute, and then drain in a colander, pressing down on the challah to draw out as much moisture as possible. Return the challah to the bowl.
2 Mash the wet challah with a potato masher until it resembles mashed potatoes. Add the eggs, sugar, oil, vanilla, cinnamon, and salt and stir to combine.
3 Heat a waffle iron and brush with oil. Add ⅓ cup of the batter and cook for 5 minutes, or until the waffles are browned and crispy and pull away from the waffle iron. Remove it from the waffle iron and transfer to a serving plate.
Repeat with the remaining batter.
4 Serve warm, with maple syrup (if using), dusted with Cinnamon-Sugar.